The Parents

The Greatest Gift: A Foster and Adoptive Mama’s Guide to Giving Time and Presence During the Holidays

December 12, 2023

In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s easy for foster and adoptive mamas to get caught up in the whirlwind of preparations, expectations, and extra responsibilities. Amidst the chaos, it’s crucial to take a step back and remember the true essence of the season and how precious the gift of time and […]

A call to mindfulness for moms
How to keep your anxiety from affecting your kids
How to deal with the unknowns of foster care
Now Trending:
I'm Cathleen!

I'm a foster + adoptive + bio mama to 4, and a psychotherapist in private practice.  I'm here to help you deal with all the feels on your foster care journey.  Welcome!


Ready to Feel Supported and Encouraged?

tell me more

I'd love to hop on a free call with you to find out the best way to support you!

In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s easy for foster and adoptive mamas to get caught up in the whirlwind of preparations, expectations, and extra responsibilities. Amidst the chaos, it’s crucial to take a step back and remember the true essence of the season and how precious the gift of time and presence is for our children. In this episode, we’ll explore why these gifts are the most precious offerings we can give, especially to the incredible souls we’ve welcomed into our homes through foster care and adoption.

The Power of Time:

In a world that constantly demands more, it’s essential to recognize that our ALL our kids – whether foster, adopted, or bio yearn for something remarkably simple yet profoundly significant – our time. Foster and adoptive mamas often find themselves juggling an array of responsibilities, from court dates to doctor appointments, and the holiday season tends to amplify these challenges. However, it’s crucial to understand that, amidst the chaos, our children value the moments we spend with them more than anything else.

Children thrive on routine and stability. During the holiday season, when schedules become increasingly unpredictable, carving out intentional time for your child becomes even more vital. Whether it’s reading a holiday story together, baking cookies, or simply snuggling on the couch with a cup of cocoa, these moments create lasting memories and a sense of security for your child.

Acknowledging Extra Tasks:

As foster moms, we often find ourselves tackling additional tasks during the holidays – organizing visits, coordinating with birth families, and navigating complex emotions that can surface during this time. It’s crucial to acknowledge the weight of these responsibilities while reminding ourselves that our children don’t measure our love by the number of decorations we put up or the perfection of our holiday feasts.

In fact, it’s the everyday moments, the simplicity of our actions, and the constancy of our presence that leave a lasting impact. When we prioritize our children’s emotional needs over the material aspects of the season, we gift them a sense of stability that transcends the challenges they may be facing.

The Joy of Presence:

While presents are a delightful part of the holiday season, the true magic lies in the present – our presence. Foster and adoptive mamas often carry the weight of wanting to provide the best for their children, especially during the holidays. However, it’s crucial to remember that the joy your child experiences when you actively engage with them far surpasses any material possession.

In a world that bombards us with consumerism and the pursuit of more, fostering gratitude in our children becomes an invaluable gift. Whether through simple conversations about the meaning of the season or engaging in activities that foster a sense of giving, our presence during these moments imparts values that extend beyond the holiday season.

Creating Meaningful Traditions:

Traditions hold a special place in the hearts of families, providing a sense of continuity and shared experiences. For foster and adoptive families, crafting meaningful traditions can be a powerful way to strengthen bonds and create a sense of belonging.

Consider involving your child in the creation of holiday traditions. Whether it’s decorating ornaments, crafting a family recipe, or even starting a new tradition together, these shared activities become touchstones in your child’s memory. The act of creating traditions not only fosters a sense of stability but also reinforces the idea that they are an integral part of your family.

Navigating Emotions:

The holiday season can evoke a range of emotions for foster and adoptive children. Memories of past holidays, feelings of loss, or the anticipation of new experiences can all contribute to complex emotional landscapes. As foster moms, it’s crucial to navigate these emotions with sensitivity and openness.

Create a safe space for your child to express their feelings, whether through words, art, or play. Acknowledging their emotions validates their experiences and reinforces the idea that it’s okay to feel a mix of joy and sadness during the holidays. By being present in these moments, you offer invaluable support and help your child navigate the complexities of the season.

As foster and adoptive mamas, the holiday season provides a unique opportunity to reinforce the importance of time and presence in our children’s lives. While the world around us may emphasize material gifts and extravagant celebrations, the true magic lies in the simplicity of shared moments. In prioritizing time, acknowledging extra tasks, and embracing the joy of our presence, we gift our children the greatest treasures – love, stability, and a sense of belonging. This holiday season, let us celebrate the power of our time and presence, creating lasting memories that resonate in the hearts of our precious ones for years to come.

P.S. New Daily Deals All December Long!

In case you missed it, I’m hosting a month-long celebration with daily sales in my shop. What makes it even more thrilling is that the prices are chosen by a random number generator each day! This means you have the chance to snag resources like my Fearless Fostering group coaching programEmbrace the Unknown Support Bundle, and my Foster Mama Starter Kit at unbelievable prices.

I invite you to check the store daily for updated sale prices all this month. The link to everything mentioned in this episode is in the episode description, allowing you to explore these incredible deals as you listen to this message.

+ show Comments

- Hide Comments

add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

so hot right now

I'm Cathleen, your new (foster) mom friend.

I'm also a psychotherapist in private practice who wants to teach my fellow foster mamas the skills that ACTUALLY work to overcome stress, anxiety and overwhelm...'cause ain't nobody got time for that!

more about me

hey there!

Encouragement for your foster care journey, exclusive discount codes + more!

Sign me up!

Free resources for you:

How to Deal with the Unknowns of Foster Care

read it

blog post

 Top Resources

Fearless Fostering Gift Cards Now Available!!

Fearless Fostering gift cards are available in $25, $50, and $100 increments. They can be used on any Fearless Fostering product or service of equal or lesser value and they NEVER expire! 

They're the perfect way to treat your fave foster mama!

Grab a gift card

Helping foster mamas deal with all the feels.


fearless fostering

follow along 
on Instagram:


get support now >


© fearless fostering 2021  |  Design by Tonic